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The Randall Years

Pharmacy and Health Care
When Randall assumed ownership of the practice, it had already been possible for half a dozen years for those who completed their studies at the Ontario College of Pharmacy (OCP) School to earn a Bachelor of Pharmacy (Phm.B.) degree from the University of Toronto by sitting an extra set of examinations set by the University beyond those administered by OCP to earn the diploma to practice. Not all, including Randall, availed themselves of that privilege, perhaps viewed by some as unnecessary additional work.

The year 1907 saw the founding of the Canadian Pharmaceutical Association (now the Canadian Pharmacists Association). Since the 1860’s OCP had served that function, having evolved from the short-lived Canadian Pharmaceutical Society. The OCP founded and began publishing the Canadian Pharmaceutical Journal (CPhJ) in 1868; it also published the first editions of the Canadian Formulary (CF); and from its school came many of the graduates who established practices in western Canada, before pharmacy developed fully there. The Canadian Pharmaceutical Association assumed from OCP the role as the national association of pharmacy, as well as the publication of the Journal and the Formulary.

The first Canadian Opium Act passed in 1908 to deal with problems caused by addicted workers toiling to complete the first Canadian national railway system; it was amended in 1911 to include morphine, heroin, and cocaine. 1908 also saw the first Canadian Proprietary or Patent Medicine Act.

The first American food and drug legislation was enacted in 1906, although Canada had a similar act already in 1875, based heavily on the model of such legislation in Britain. The first international narcotic controls arrived in 1914.

In terms of medical/pharmaceutical discoveries, the 1890’s witnessed the discovery of radium by the Curies, the introduction of aspirin by the Bayer Company, development of diphtheria antitoxin, the discovery of X-rays and heroin. The early 1900’s brought the coining of the term “hormone,” the use of ergot for obstetrics, novocaine as a local anaesthetic, and recognition of the mosquito as vector for malaria. The last years of Randall’s practice occurred during the era of chemotherapy, the coining of the term “vitamine” (later “vitamin”)and the discovery of vitamins A and B, the medicinal use of phenobarbital, corneal grafts to restore eyesight, and the founding, in 1913, of the famed Wellcome Medical Museum in Britain.